Last updated: February 26, 2015
- Grade Level:
- Fourth Grade-Fifth Grade
- Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Colonial History, Community, Ecology, Environment, Geography, Government, Historic Preservation, Military and Wartime History, Physical Fitness, Regional Studies, Revolutionary War, Science and Technology, Social Studies
- 90-120 minutes
- Group Size:
- Up to 60
- in the park
- National/State Standards:
- NYS Content:
Gr. 4: Colonial/Rev Periods; Rev War in NYS
Gr. 5: US Hist
1, 2, 3
Gr. 4: 2 A; 4 E
- Battle of Saratoga, Battles of Saratoga, Saratoga Battlefield, Revolutionary War, American Revolution, military history, history, social studies, nature, ecology, environment, plants, animals
OverviewNature hikes are a great way to explore outdoor areas, and Saratoga National Historical Park’s main hiking trail, the 4+ mile Wilkinson Trail, has much to offer. Named for British mapmaker Lieutenant William Wilkinson, the trail has a shorter, 2 mile option useful with students. This activity sheet accompanies the 2-mile hike, encouraging students to look around them and engage with the natural world around them.
Students will be able to:
- identify a list of things found in nature
- describe, in writing or art, something they enjoyed during their nature hike
- begin to develop an appreciation for nature
This a fairly unstructured activity. Students just need their worksheets and a pencil as the group does the 2-mile hike. While there is a checklist of items to look for, which students should be encouraged to read through before the hike, it's just as important for them to simply walk and interact with the natural and cultural environment around them.
MaterialsDownloadable PDF lesson materials:
Distribute worksheets to students and be sure everyone has a pencil. Read through the checklist with them so they know what are the items they should look for. When explaining what SCAT is, there will be an "Ewww!" factor involved, but it's a great teachable moment to note how environmental scientists can use such indicators to learn what kinds of animals are found in a given area, what/how much they are eating, and how healthy the animals are.
Best part about this activity: there's not much requiring assessment. Certainly, check to see the students are paying attention. The writing activity, or even the drawing activity, could be turned in as an assignment, as the teacher sees fit.